I walked into a coffee shop the other morning and witnessed a customer, the end user, giving the barista an incredibly difficult time. I've observed such dynamics a lot in my life. I waited on tables as a young adult. Some people remember you are human too while serving them; others become detached from humanity and begin treating people…differently.
I think that's a major error in logic and ethics. It's a slap in the face to 'the golden rule.' I felt like reminding the (gentleman?) that while he was a customer at that moment, he is likely to be 'on the other end' of the dynamic in some shape or form. We're all consumers, and if we offer others something in the form of product/service, it's very beneficial to never forget the former sentiment.
User experience is incredibly important. Moreover, you don't necessarily need a third party's help to channel your inner 'end user.' You are one too.
Let Them Have Their Cake
When I was young, birthdays were huge to my grandmother. Pretty much the entire day was all about 'you.' Furthermore, the party's delectable treats were completely your choice. That was great 'customer' service my grandmother was delivering. She asked what we wanted first. Wow. Was it just due to a grandmother's love or was grandma people-savvy? I think both.
I read an article yesterday about a unique spin on 7-11 experiences in Jakarta. If you read the story, you'll discover a demand for 'café-like' internet hangouts. A few, savvy franchisees are designing their stores to function less like mini marts and more like coffeehouses, with live bands, WiFi, a wider variety of fresh foods, etc. Franchisees are directly asking locals of wants to design upcoming stores.
Ask your consumers what they want out of your goods/services. Get a sense of the demand first, and then attempt to supply it.
How Am I Driving?
Do you ever notice those 'how am I driving' stickers on big trucks? I'll assume there is some sort of system of checks and balances in place, tracking the professionalism of workers. It's my hope that the system is utilized by owners and not just other drivers on the road. Wouldn't you truly want to know how well your product/service satisfies? I would.
A lot of brands offer occasions for feedback; yet, I'll be honest. I kind of take most of the 'options' as visual lip service, kind of like the 'how am I driving' stickers. A brand should want to know how well it's driving customer satisfaction.
Be honest. How many times has your brand enforced feedback? How many times do you candidly ask social media followers? Do you host a transparent page on your site hosting user feedback? (That notion scares some of you, huh?)
Let consumers know you want their opinion and will indefinitely listen. The notion needs enforcement just like other elements of marketing. However, how far are you willing to push for your consumers' true feedback?